By Vera Koo, Women’s Outdoor News, February 11, 2019

When I enrolled at San Francisco State after graduating high school, I do not think I realized just how valuable the next 4 years of my life would be. I attended college because my friends were going to college. It just seemed like the natural progression after high school.

Five decades after graduating with a bachelor’s degree, I re-enrolled in college this semester. I am taking a course called Introduction to Digital Imaging at Cañada College in Redwood City, California. Going back to school is reminding me what I gained – perhaps without fully realizing it then – as an undergraduate.

I left San Francisco State with more than an art degree. I gained an education that prepared me for life.

Ask someone why she attended college, and she probably would say she went to earn a degree that would allow her to get a job.

It’s true that college helps us do that. But there are so many other aspects students gain from the experience.

  • You learn patience.
  • You develop a work ethic.
  • You build human connections.
  • You broaden your worldview.

Those lessons proved valuable not only in navigating life’s challenges, but also in shaping my shooting career.

Patience

Rewards are not always immediate in college. You must work several years to get a degree. Along the way, you might have to take courses in subjects you are not particularly interested in before you can focus on your area of interest. Projects and research papers can take months to complete.

All of that teaches patience and commitment. Gratification is not always instant.

Developing a strong work ethic

Understanding that came in handy during my shooting career. Shooting improvement did not occur overnight. Only after months of practice could I expect to see my skills grow.

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